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Election 2010: Conservative candidates slammed over climate commitment
23 April 2010
The commitment of prospective Conservative MPs to tackling climate change is under question today after it was revealed that only two Tory candidates have backed a package of key measures to slash UK emissions.
Friends of the Earth campaigners visited Parliament to highlight the fact, with coloured balloons, calling for climate action, not hot air.
The green measures, which have been put forward by Friends of the Earth, have been supported by scores of Labour and Liberal Democrat candidates.
During the election campaign, thousands of Friends of the Earth supporters have contacted their candidates to support the environmental charity's four climate pledges. So far these have been backed by 285 Green Party candidates (out of around 300), 156 Liberal Democrats, 85 Labour and only two Conservatives.
Of the three main parties, only Nick Clegg has replied to a letter co-signed by over 8,000 supporters - asking them to commit to real action to tackle climate change.
Friends of the Earth's Executive Director Andy Atkins said:
"It is extremely disappointing that only two prospective Conservative MPs have backed our action plan for tackling climate change.
"David Cameron must do more to convince his party of the urgent need to cut climate emissions - and the fact that a green economy will be good for jobs, good for energy security and good for the planet.
"Climate change is one of the biggest challenges the planet faces - we need urgent climate action, not more hot air."
The Friends of the Earth pledges are:
• Every council must take action on climate change
A local carbon budget for every local authority: that caps CO2 in the local area in line with the scientific demands for emissions cuts and local circumstances; and enough money and technical support to enable councils to do their bit to tackle climate change.
• Tackling climate change, creating jobs
Sufficient investment in switching to a low carbon economy to: achieve a reduction in UK greenhouse gas emission of 42 per cent by 2020; create jobs and boost the recovery; and eliminate fuel poverty.
• Strong and fair international action to tackle climate change
An international agreement on cutting emissions where those responsible make the deepest cuts first, and developing countries are supported to grow in a low carbon way
• Fix the food chain and support planet-friendly farming
A new law which will tackle the major greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation caused by the UK's dependence on imported feeds for livestock - and which will support better UK farming and domestic feed production.
Notes to editors:
1. Friends of the Earth is running its most aggressive election campaign ever
to make sure politicians push the environment up the political agenda. To sign up or read our regular blogs on the General Election visit www.foe.co.uk/election.
2. During the election thousands f our supporters have been emailing their candidates, asking them to sign up to our climate pledges:
3. Friends of the Earth's Executive Director Andy Atkins also sent the party leaders a letter - co-signed by over 8000 supporters - asking them to commit to real action to tackle climate change. So far only Nick Clegg has replied:
4. The balloons, which are not being released, are made with FSC-certified, fairly-traded rubber:
If you're a journalist looking for press information please contact the Friends of the Earth media team on 020 7566 1649.
Published by Friends of the Earth Trust
Last modified: Aug 2010